An oil rig that exploded off the shore of Louisiana Tuesday night causing several fatalities sunk Thursday, raising concern that the environmental fallout could be much worse than initially predicted. Experts now fear that more than 300,000 gallons of crude oil may flow into the oceans surrounding the Mississippi and Louisiana coastlines for days to come, endangering marine life and possibly closing beaches in the area. It continues to remain unclear as to what exactly caused the explosion, but petroleum giant BP (who was leasing the rig) is taking the spillage very seriously. They have deployed planes to help treat the affected sea water with special chemicals to help break down the oil. Some ships have also been deployed to help recover some of the oil. Underwater mechanisms were also being put into place to help control the spread of the oil. Cleanup crews are actively working to minimize the impact the spillage might have on marine life.
As of this writing, eleven workers that were active on the rig platform prior to the explosion are still missing. It is feared that these workers were operating in close proximity to the explosion site, making survival unlikely. As of Wednesday, nearly 20 other workers were rescued from the oil rig with injuries spanning from smoke inhalation to burns, according to the Washington Times. Our hearts go to the families who lost loved in ones in this tragedy and we wish those who survived a quick recovery!